Soka University of America
Soka University Home
Title Image

Spring 2018

Rafael Schultz '21, Confucianism in Singapore.

This paper examines the influence of Confucianism on the government of Singapore that began in the latter part of the 1970’s. The adoption of Confucianism by the Singaporean state is examined firstly in a historical context, and subsequently through policy and official statements. The aim of this research paper is to understand what factors pushed the ruling People’s Action Party towards the adoption of Confucian doctrine, as well as the changes that this adoption incurred on the policy and politics of Singapore. This paper then examines whether or not the Singaporean government fulfills its responsibilities towards its people within the context of the Confucian hierarchy and ends by looking at Confucianism in the context of capitalism and democracy. 

Samikchhya Bhusal '19, Melamchi Water Supply Project in Kathmandu.

Kathmandu's above 3% annual population growth implies an increased water demand. It is in this context that the Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP), one of Nepal's several national pride projects, is creating hope among Kathmandu residents. An increased access to clean water is expected after the completion of the MWSP. The paper will argue that although the MWSP is a promising project for Kathmandu, the project has been criticized for three major reasons: (1) high costs of the project, (2) negative ecological and economic effects of the project, and (3) poor public participation in the planning process. This paper will also argue that the overemphasis on the MWSP has resulted in a neglect of several simple solutions. Addressing water leakages and implementing rainwater harvesting are strategies that have remained under emphasized in the context of Kathmandu's increasing water demand. The case of MWSP also serves as a lesson for planners and decision makers alike to reconsider the implications of large-scale water infrastructure projects and the potential of local simple solutions.  

MacKenzie Kermoade '19, Russian Fisheries Management In The Barents Sea. 

The six stocks of the Barents Sea fisheries constitute an immensely productive biological resource vital to the economies of the Kingdom of Norway and the Russian Federation. The establishment of the 1970s bilateral regime created a pathway for transboundary fisheries management primarily through the Barents Sea Joint Fisheries Commission. However, the regime provides only a diplomatic platform and leaves all regulatory power to the nations’ respective governments. Given the natural fragility of the Arctic food web and the current threat of climate change related disruption, the effectiveness of the bilateral regimes should be carefully assessed. The Russian Federation’s regulatory capacity is of particular concern due to the nation’s historic pro-production agenda as well as the present absence of government transparency. The government of the USSR encouraged large catches in the Barents Sea and favored industrial interests over ecosystem management practices. While the Russian central government can no longer exert a command-and-control approach, the Soviet Union’s pro-industry regulatory hierarchy has survived and subsequently empowered corporations in the enforcement process. Through a literature review of relevant policy analyses, the following paper explores the Russian Federation’s ability to uphold and enforce international agreements in the Barents Sea.

Vassil Yorgov '19, Sharia in the West: A Case Study of Canada and the United Kingdom. 

Despite calls to ban it in many Western countries, Sharia, or Islamic Law, already exists within the framework of legal pluralism in countries with large Muslim populations. It takes the form of community arbitration, in which two disputing litigants vest legal authority in a neutral third party outside of the traditional judiciary system. Much of the precedent has been set by Rabbinical Law in Jewish communities. This paper will examine how Sharia manifests in the United Kingdom and Ontario, Canada, cases chosen due to their large and historic Muslim communities. Records of cases appealed in the higher courts show the most influential decisions while also shedding light on the interactions between community arbitration and the judicial system. A majority of the cases deal with inheritance and divorce, with no instances of criminal law. Appellate courts frequently uphold arbitration decisions, and previous rulings (including in other cases involving community arbitration) create a strong legal precedent that is used in future cases. Overall, Sharia arbitration in Ontario and the United Kingdom can shed light on the system’s future developments in the United States.  

Back to Top Print this Page